Paddling the Genesee – 2021 Season Report & 2022 Outlook

There is no substitute for experiencing the Genesee from water level.  That’s why between May and October, Genesee RiverWatch partnered with both the Genesee Waterways Center and the Erie Canal Boat Company to provide guided paddles on the Genesee, as well as Black Creek and Red Creek.  In total, 71 people joined us, with each trip attracting between 2 and 17 paddlers.

The season kicked off with two weekends of kayaking from the docks at Black Creek and Petten Street.  Erie Canal Boat Company provided our kayaks and equipment.  Genesee RiverWatch guided the participants north on the Genesee from Black Creek to the Erie Canal and south past the RIT campus.  On a particularly windy day, we explored the sheltered and remote channels of Black Creek.  Along the way, we discussed the history of our river and saw parts of the old Genesee Valley Canal and Genesee Valley Canal Railroad.  The following weekend, we kayaked up the lower river from the new Petten Street kayak/canoe dock, past the old coal shipping port and the new Lehigh Cement docks.  We discussed the river’s role in the Underground Railway and watched the modern dredging operation that maintains Rochester’s deep-water channel for lake traffic.

From June through ROC the River Weekend in October, we used the Genesee River Waterways Center’s canoes and kayaks to further explore the lower Genesee from Petten Street and to investigate Red Creek from its mouth on the Erie Canal to the limits of navigability south of Crittenden Road.  In addition to being quiet and sheltered, Red Creek nurtures a wealth of wildlife including painted turtles, ducks, herons, egrets, and muskrats.

Looking forward to 2022 and beyond, we want to increase the number of available paddling dates, add new sections of the river to paddle, create opportunities for individuals and families who do not know how to paddle to learn the sport, and find ways to incorporate K-12 educational experiences in the program.  Be sure to join our mailing list and “friend” us on Facebook to get advance notice of upcoming events and the 2022 paddling program. 

See you on the river!

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